New Amsterdam

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Features, History

353 years ago, New Amsterdam became New York City

By Dana Schulz, Fri, September 8, 2017

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, The Fall of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris’s painting “The Fall of New Amsterdam, which shows New Amsterdam residents begging Peter Stuyvesant to surrender to the British. Via The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

On September 8th, 1664, Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, officially establishing New York City. To take part in the fur trade, settlers from the Dutch West India Company first established the colony of New Netherland in 1624, which would eventually grow to include all present-day boroughs, Long Island, and even parts of New Jersey. The following year, the island of Manhattan, then the capital, was named New Amsterdam. But when Stuyvesant’s 17-year run as Governor (from 1647 to 1664) turned unfavorable, he ceded the island to England’s Colonel Richard Nicolls, who had sent four ships with 450 men to seize the Dutch Colony. The name was promptly changed to honor the Duke of York and his mission.

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History, Policy

Peter Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Square

Monument to Peter Stuyvesant in Stuyvesant Square via edenpictures via photopin

Earlier this week, the de Blasio administration said it would give “immediate attention” to a proposal from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to remove Central Park’s Christopher Columbus statue based on accounts that the explorer enslaved and killed many indigenous people. And it looks like Peter Stuyvesant might be next on the chopping block. The Post reports that Jewish rights group Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center is “demanding Mayor de Blasio scrub all traces of the anti-Semitic Dutch governor from city property” as part of the city’s 90-day review of symbols of hate. Not only do they want monuments of him removed, but his name erased on everything from the public Stuyvesant High School to Stuyvesant Square Park to the entire neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Find out the full history

Featured Story

Features, History

Peter Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Square

Monument to Peter Stuyvesant in Stuyvesant Square via edenpictures via photopin

A few quick facts from New York City history 101: The island of Manhattan was originally settled by the Dutch, and therefore officially named New Amsterdam in 1625. It was part of the larger settlement of New Netherland. Pieter, or Petrus, Stuyvesant (we know him today as Peter) was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded to the English in 1664. His work greatly influenced the city’s expansion northward from the southern tip, and he was responsible for many major historic events, such as the erection of a protective wall on what is today Wall Street and the creation of a canal on today’s Broad Street and Broadway.

Now that it’s November–the month when the city celebrates its Dutch heritage through 5 Dutch Days–we decided to take a look at the old stomping ground of General Stuyvesant, as well as his lasting legacy in the city today.

Read about Peter Stuyvesant’s NYC

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